Here at school nursing we can support parent / carers with managing your child’s sleep. Why not follow the steps below:
TEN STEPS TO DEVELOPING GOOD SLEEP HABITS
- Where possible make sure that the bedroom is quiet, dark and unstimulating.
- Particularly on week days set a regular bedtime and wake your child at a regular hour each morning and stick to it.
- Keep bedroom temperature to a comfortable level, as high temperatures disturb sleep.
- Make sure your child does not go to bed hungry.
- Avoid stimulating activities the hour before bedtime (e.g. Rough play, dancing, loud music and T.V). Viewing TV, i-pod, i-pad, phone games screens before bedtime decreases the amount of melatonin that the body makes as the screen make the brain think that it is not bedtime. Melatonin makes the body feel tired and start to yawn and think about going to bed.
- Do not let your child sleep late in the afternoon, if your child is struggling to stay awake try making bedtime earlier.
- Avoid drinks of cola, chocolate, tea and coffee before bedtime.
- Establish a pre-bedtime settling routine e.g. Bath-time, teeth brushing and story. It is also important to discuss anything which may be worrying your child, as stress can affect sleep.
- Encourage your child to fall asleep alone in his/her own bed.
10. Positive reinforcement. Provide immediate attention following a good night. Rewards can be anything from using a star chart, praise and hugs.
If you feel that you would like further support on sleep management for your child, then you can contact the school nursing team by using the ‘School Nurses’ drop down list and select your child’s school.
Remember a good sleep routine is the key to a happy and healthy child!